UK: Ethical trade action plan agreed for Primark

Value clothing retailer Primark has agreed a "wide-ranging" ethical trade action plan following an inquiry commissioned by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).


The inquiry was launched following allegations made in January 2009 of abuses of workers' rights at a Manchester factory supplying Primark.


During the investigation, a panel of independent experts found that Primark had "significantly ramped up" its ethical trade activities over the last year.


These include the recruitment of a director of ethical trade; appointing ethical trade staff in sourcing countries; developing new ethical trade policies and practices; and raising the awareness of staff and suppliers through training.


The ETI inquiry has also made further recommendations, which senior managers at the retailer have pledged to implement, with work on some of them already under way.


"Primark has made enormous strides over the past 12 months," said ETI director Dan Rees.


"While there is still a great deal of work left to do, given the pace of improvement and the resources now committed, we are satisfied that Primark is committed to a robust and credible ethical trading strategy.


"Where weaknesses remain, we are committed to working with the company to address them."